2021 Lúuma	-- Cabernet Sauvignon -- Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

2021 Lúuma -- Cabernet Sauvignon -- Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

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A collaboration between John Harley of INIZI Wines and the principals of California distributor Revel Wines, the name of the project comes from Péta Lúuma, the Miwok name for the place that became the city of Petaluma. “And now for something completely different” would be an appropriate introduction to this wine if it were being poured alongside other Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons. Despite coming from the hotter end of the Napa Valley, this is a wine of freshness that tips the scales at a modest (for modern Napa) 13.6% alcohol, and which eschews new oak and the chocolate flavors they often impart. (In fact, this would be the perfect wine with which to study the effects of new oak flavors on Cabernet Sauvignon. The classic flavors of the grape are here; black currant, blackberry, cedar, leather and gravel and a touch of bell pepper, so trying this wine alongside a fancy modern Napa Cab would highlight the extra flavors of caramel, toffee, coffee, chocolate, baking spices, vanilla, etc., that new oak imparts.) The organically grown grapes were destemmed without crushing to more gently extract the tannins and the primary and malolactic fermentations were allowed to occur naturally to preserve more nuances of its unnamed Calistoga vineyard. Aging in the aforementioned neutral french oak barrels for 8-9 months allowed the wine to concentrate through evaporation while softening the tannins of this young wine through gentle oxidation. The fresh fruit flavors and well controlled tannins mean this wine is ready to drink now and that it will be a versatile partner to foods like burgers, pizza and even somewhat hot chili.